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Summary

  1. Slovakia host Scotland on Tuesday night
  2. Scotland sit second in World Cup qualifying Group F
  3. England top group with six points
  4. Scotland and Slovenia have four points apiece
  5. Irn Bru Cup quarter-final draw

Live Reporting

By Keir Murray

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye

    Remember to tune in to Sportsound for a good chat on Scotland and what needs to be done in Slovakia tomorrow.

    We'll leave you with the thoughts of manager Gordon Strachan.

    Join us again tomorrow for all of the build up to a key World Cup qualifier.

    Video content

    Video caption: Scotland manager Gordon Strachan on Slovakia's change of playing style since Euro 2016
  2. Tune in to Sportsound

    Sportsound is on BBC Radio Scotland from 18:30. Tonight's guests are Barry Ferguson, Steven Thompson and Steven Pressley, along with the Daily Mail's Stephen McGowan and some guy called Chick Young...

    There's only one topic this evening; Scotland.

  3. Gerry Gow dies aged 64

    Former Bristol City and Manchester City midfielder and Yeovil Town player-boss Gerry Gow has died aged 64 after being diagnosed with cancer this year.

    The Scot, who also played for Rotherham and Burnley, made 445 appearances for Bristol City, becoming a club legend, before joining Manchester City in 1981.

    Read more...

  4. Second is target for Scotland

    More from Scotland manager Gordon Strachan...

    "I've had ideas for two months of what I was going to do (against Slovakia) but suddenly they have changed their tactics so we have had to have a rethink.

    "I watched them a couple of times at the Euros and they went 4-3-3 but now it's drastically different, the wide men have gone.

    "Most of us expect England to win the group, but it a crazy gang here (in the group). We will definitely try to get second. If we can win it, great, but second is the target for us."

    Scotland manager Gordon Strachan
  5. 'There will be changes' - Strachan

    Scotland boss Gordon Strachan says he will prepare a team which includes Darren Fletcher and one that assumes the captain won't make it.

    "It's good news that he's going to have a fitness test," said Strachan at Monday's media conference.

    "I actually thought it was a thigh strain at half time (at Hampden against Lithuania) but it was a knock on his thigh. We'll put the final touches tomorrow. We're fine, we're good, we're looking forward to it.

    "There are going to be changes because we thought it was going to be a rough-and-tumble game, which it was. It was more like a Championship game. We did pick up a few knocks. We had ideas for two months what we were going to do (against Slovakia) but they have dramatically changed their system so we've had to have a good rethink from Saturday night."

    The Slovaks played 4-3-3 at Euro 2016, with two wide men, says the Scotland boss, but the hosts have now altered their formation.

  6. Skipper Fletcher on the mend

    Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher says he will not train tonight, but he is desperate to play tomorrow. It's a case of "fingers crossed", he says. 

    Fletcher went off with a thigh strain on Saturday at half-time of the match against Lithuania.

    "If the manager wants me to play I'll be out there doing my best," says the Scotland skipper.

    "There was initial disappointment. It was a game we expected to win. We see it as a slightly missed opportunity but at the same time we showed great character to get the equalising goal. it might turn out to be a massive point. We are still second in the group. We come here confident because Slovakia aren't in a good place just now. With them being second seeds in the group, to come here and win would be massive. Even if we come here and not lose it would put us in a strong position in the group. We are still right in this group. There's still a long way to go and we still believe in ourselves. There are lots of things that can improve."

    Scotland captain Darren Fletcher
    Image caption: Scotland captain Darren Fletcher is resting his thigh after sustaining an injury while making his 75th appearance for the national team on Saturday
  7. Our commentator's in place nice and early

    Video content

    Video caption: 2018 World Cup qualifying: Liam McLeod's Slovakia-Scotland preview
  8. There will be one very unhappy runner-up

    Of the 32 teams who will compete at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there will be 14 European teams including the hosts. 

    All the winners from the nine European qualifying groups go through to the finals automatically.

    Worryingly - one suspects for Scotland's group - of the nine group runners-up, only eight nations go into the play-offs to determine the remaining four European spots.

    The Uefa website states: "The eight runners-up with the best record against the teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups proceed to play-offs to decide the remaining four European berths".

    So most likely the scores against Malta won't count, but if Scotland, Slovakia, Lithuania and Slovenia all take points off one another, it's possible that the lowest-placed runner-up could be one of those four nations.

    Which makes a win in Trnava all the more important tomorrow night, methinks.

    The scoreboard at Hampden shows Scotland and Lithuania earned a point apiece on Saturday
    Image caption: The scoreboard at Hampden shows Scotland and Lithuania earned a point apiece on Saturday
  9. Want to know about Slovakia?

  10. Irn Bru Cup quarter-finals

    The Challenge Cup draw is as follows:

    Livingston v The New Saints 

    Queen of the South v Alloa Athletic 

    St Mirren v Ayr United 

    Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee United 

    The ties will be played over the weekend of November 12/13.  

    Challenge Cup
  11. 'Scotland pressing can disrupt Slovakia'

    Scotland can get a positive result in Slovakia if they employ a high-tempo strategy, says Steven Pressley.

    The former international defender watched Slovakia lose in Slovenia on Saturday, providing a report for Scotland manager Gordon Strachan.

    "If you allow them to get a rhythm, they can be a very effective team," Pressley told BBC Scotland.

    "Slovenia were aggressive out of possession, they pressurised them and didn't allow them to settle."

    Read more...

    Barry Bannan and James McArthur
    Image caption: Barry Bannan and James McArthur might be in for a busy night in the Scotland engine room
  12. Challenge Cup draw coming up

    Following the weekend's Irn Bru Cup action, the quarter-final draw will be made at 14:00 this afternoon.

    Here are the eight teams still standing:

    The New Saints, Dundee United, St Mirren, Queen of the South, Livingston, Alloa Athletic, Dunfermline Athletic, Ayr United.

  13. Slovakia's ones to watch

    We'll bring you the opinions soon of Steven Pressley, who was Scotland's "spy" at the Slovenia-Slovakia match on Saturday. He's been talking to BBC Scotland reporter Heather Dewar. In the meantime, here are a few players Al Lamont has picked out as posing a danger to Scotland's chances in Trnava.

    Discover Slovakia's one's to watch.

    Jan Durica
    Image caption: Trabzonspor's Jan Durica's pace is fading but he is still a dominant defender
  14. Kenny Mac, anchorman

  15. Return of the Mac

    Jackie McNamara's time in the beautiful city of York is coming to an end.

    York City said in a statement: "The chairman has asked Jackie to train and prepare the team until a suitable candidate has been determined." 

    City boss Jackie McNamara had offered to resign if the team did not get a "positive result" at Braintree on Saturday. They drew 1-1.

    The club expect to appoint a new boss in a fortnight.

    Full story.

    York City manager Jackie McNamara
    Image caption: Jackie McNamara took over as York City manager 11 months ago
  16. Lubo's take on Slovakia

    Former Celtic midfielder Lubomir Moravcik was on Sportsound on Sunday discussing Slovakia's performance against Slovenia. 

    The Slovak told BBC BBC Scotland: "The first game against England was a hard game for us. Unfortunately we conceded a goal in the last second of the game. The worst surprise was yesterday - we made only one chance to score a goal, which was very poor. Slovenia are not a very strong team in Europe. 

    "I think now we need to win against Scotland because it is going to be very hard. It is a crucial moment. For a long time we have not really had a top striker. Defence was our strong point but without (Martin) Skrtel we played with three at the back. For me, this was not a good choice because we played really deep and didn't push up. Now Skrtel is back we will play with four at the back and one striker up front. (Robert) Mak plays up front but he is a winger, not a striker."

    Former Celtic midfielder Lubo Moravcik
  17. Will's Slovakia's plight help or hinder Scotland?

    Alasdair Lamont

    BBC Sport Scotland in Slovakia

    My colleague Alasdair Lamont was in Ljubljana on Saturday to watch Slovenia beat Slovakia 1-0. Here's what he told BBC Radio Scotland Sportsound listeners about the match:

    "It was pretty short on quality football. Certainly, Slovakia, with their recent pedigree of reaching the last 16 of the Euros, were pretty disappointing. I'd expect them to be better at home against Scotland. They will have to be because they have no points from their first two games 

    "Given they are second seeds in the group they should have been favourites to take that play-off spot. Everyone is resigned to fighting it out for second place now behind England.

    "Slovakia's defeat could really spur them on in front of their home fans, knowing they have to get a win to kick-start their campaign, or if there is a bit of negativity creeping in it could play on the minds of some of the players, the pressure might build knowing they have to get the three points. The onus will be on them to come out and attack Scotland to win the game and that might work to Scotland's advantage. It might suit Scotland to be able to play on the break."

    Slovakia's Marek Hamsik will pose a threat to Scotland in Trnava
    Image caption: Slovakia's Marek Hamsik will pose a scoring threat to Scotland in Trnava
  18. Can Strachan find vital spark?

    Richard Wilson

    BBC Scotland in Bratislava

    The Scotland squad is on route to Bratislava and a critical moment in Gordon Strachan's time in charge of the national team.

    Saturday's 1-1 draw with Lithuania at Hampden has sent anxiety and frustration scurrying through the minds of the Tartan Army, and the weight of public opinion against Strachan will only gather further if the team does not return from Slovakia with at least one point. In truth, though, in the context of Group F and World Cup qualification hopes, a win is needed.

    Strachan's record in charge of Scotland in competitive games is P18 W8 D4 L6 and he can take some encouragement from away games; P9 W4 D2 L3. Two of those victories came in Malta and against Gibraltar in Portugal, but there were also wins in Croatia and Macedonia. During the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, Strachan's team drew in Poland and in Dublin against the Republic of Ireland.

    The manager has issues to resolve, though. James McArthur's impressive second-half display against Lithuania, and his recent good form for Crystal Palace, is a persuasive case for his inclusion in central midfield, where Darren Fletcher may be fit to play and where Strachan has tended to favour Barry Bannan. He may switch to a 4-1-4-1 shape, to try to contain Slovakia and hit on the break, but that leaves the other main question: who to play up front?

    Strachan praised Chris Martin for his performance against Lithuania, but a run of 20 club games without a goal continues to undermine the striker's standing with the Scotland support. Steven Fletcher is a more technically adroit and rounded centre-forward, while Leigh Griffiths carries more of a goal threat. 

    Strachan has much to ponder on the flight.

    Gordon Strachan heads into Glasgow Airport
    Image caption: Gordon Strachan heads into Glasgow Airport as Scotland set off for Bratislava
  19. What we learned from Scotland v Lithuania

    Rob Maclean has been mulling over what Scotland's performance against Lithuania told us. Read his views on "must-win" games, the atmosphere at Hampden, Scotland's striking options, creating more scoring chances and the talented left-back Andrew Robertson.

    Read Rob's article.

    Leigh Griffiths came on as a substitute to replace Matt Ritchie
    Image caption: Leigh Griffiths came on as a substitute in the 71st minute to replace Matt Ritchie
  20. One for the stats geeks

    If you love nothing more than to pore over the football tables, then head over to the page on the BBC Sport website that lists all of the European qualifying groups for the 2018 World Cup. If Scotland can clinch top spot (!), then Russia here we come. But if we have to "settle" for second place in Group F, have a look at who our possible play-off opponents could be. (Health warning: it's terrifying)